Most of our internet activity begins with a search from a search engine like Google (or soon, with Facebook graph search). If you’re active on Facebook, then your Facebook profile may be the first thing that shows up when someone searches your name on Google.
The obvious privacy concern here is that someone can see your basic Facebook profile (or even more), just by searching your name. That “someone” might also be the growing crowd of data miners who assemble a profile about you from all of the data they can find and associate with your identity.
What’s the fix? Here’s how to make sure that your Facebook profile won’t show up as a result in a search engine:
- Click the Privacy Shortcut Button, located to the right of your name in the Facebook toolbar
- Click “See More Settings”
- Click Edit next to “Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?”
- Make sure that the box next to “Let other search engines link to your timeline” is unchecked
- Make sure that you click “Confirm” from the box that pops up. If you do not confirm you choice, then your changes will not save, and your profile will still show up as a result in a search engine.
However, this Privacyfix isn’t for everyone. You may want your Facebook profile to show up as a result when someone performs a search for your name (perhaps during a job search). But we think it’s important that the user is aware of, and has access to, their privacy settings as well as what is happening to their information when they use Facebook.
This fix, and many others, are part of Privacyfix >>
If you’ve used Privacyfix, you probably have a sense of how much data Facebook and Google collect about your profile and how you use the Web (and for most people, that’s a lot). But even with all of that data, how well do they really know you?
One way to tell is to look at the ads that Facebook shows you, since this reflects the interests and characteristics about you that Facebook uses for ad targeting, which is, after all, Facebook’s bread and butter. To see a bunch of ads Facebook thinks are right for you, you can visit your own “Ad Board” by clicking here.
Visit PrivacyFix.com to learn more about Facebook Privacy >>
Reviewing pages that you’ve liked is one of the easiest ways to control how you appear in Facebook’s new Graph Search feature.
Maybe just for fun you liked something a few years ago, never imagining that someone would be able to simply search for that interest and find your smiling face in the search results. Aside from liking something inappropriate, it’s possible that the things you like say more about you than you think.
Fortunately, reviewing your Likes is easy:
- View your Activity Log by visiting your profile and clicking the Activity Log icon underneath your Timeline cover photo
- Click the Likes tab
- You can go through and review everything you’ve liked on Facebook
- To remove something that you’ve Liked, click the pencil to the right of the photo, page, comment, or status that you Liked
- Click Unlike
Of course, you also should be careful about the pages that you Like in the future. Sure, it’s funny to like certain pages. But will it still be funny when in a year from now, you show up as a result in a search for, ”People who like Gangnam Style”?
Visit PrivacyFix.com to learn more about managing Likes and privacy >>
You may have heard about the debate raging in Washington D.C. over “Do Not Track,” the idea that you should be able to flick a switch in your browser to prevent marketing companies (over 1,200 of them) from collecting data about what you do across websites and apps.
The marketers say that you don’t need this choice, because the tracking is mostly anonymous, supports free web content and also delivers more relevant ads that people appreciate.
Is the bargain worth it to you? Before you decide, you might want to take a look at what you actually look like to advertisers. Some of the larger companies, like Google and Yahoo!, actually give you a glimpse into the profile that they use for ad targeting. You can take a look at some of these profiles here:
PrivacyChoice Ad Profile Sampler >>
PS Keep in mind that if you are blocking tracking (using Privacyfix or any other tool), you won’t see much or anything on these profile pages. You’ve already made your choice!
If you’re a PrivacyFix user, or have been following the PrivacyFix blog, then you’ve learned how to make your Facebook profile private. It’s time to put these privacy fixes to the test and see how much or how little information your Facebook profile shares. You may think that a stranger, or anyone who searches for you on Facebook, is only able to see your name shown under your timeline cover. But how can you really know that your Facebook profile is private?
A simple way to check to see how the privacy settings you have changed affect your profile, and to see what other privacy settings need to be changed, is to view your profile as a stranger sees it. Here’s a walkthrough of how to do this:
To see how someone else views your profile:
- Click the Privacy Shortcut Button (it’s located to the right of the home button and looks like a lock)
- Click “Who Can See My Stuff?”
- Click “View As”
- You will be lead to your Facebook page as it is viewed publicly. From this page, you will also have the option to view your profile through the eyes of a specific Facebook friend
The ability to view your Facebook profile the way someone else does is an extremely useful feature in terms of Facebook privacy.
Be sure that when you update your privacy settings on Facebook, you are actively saving your progress. You can tweak your privacy settings all day, but not saving your changes means not securing your profile. Viewing your profile as someone else not only lets you know how the settings you’ve altered have affected your profile, it also lets you know what needs to be changed.
Learn more about Facebook privacy and security at PrivacyFix.com >>